Mixtapes for Hookers

My Ten Favorite Songs of 2012

10. Ke$ha, “Die Young”
The first, I don’t know, twenty times I heard this song on the radio I expected it to be Flo Rida. Which is to be expected, since the opening of this Dr. Luke/Benny Blanco song is pretty much the exactly the same thing they used for “Good Feeling” a few months earlier. But maybe that shouldn’t be surprising. We first heard Ke$ha, after all, when she and Flo crucified a Dead Or Alive song together.

This is the first song of Ke$ha’s that I’ve actually liked—well, okay, “Blow” grew on me after a few months but not like this—and I’m hesitant to buy into the promotional angling for her new album (which involves a soul-seeking journey to the Galapogos Islands, and The Atlantic calling her new tie-in memoir the new Feminine Mystique.)

The fifth co-writer of “Die Young” is that whiny singer from fun., and if his own dumb band’s songs were remotely this fun maybe I wouldn’t turn the radio off every fucking time “Some Nights” comes on.

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The Best of 2012, Part 2

40. Charli XCX, “You’re The One”
Slightly gothy twenty-year old pop singer Charli XCX came out with a bang late last year, though her basically perfect single “Stay Away” escaped my attention completely until it showed up on other people’s year-end best-of lists. Oh well. “You’re The One” is a slight (slight) step down from that song: a little bit of The Knife’s “Heartbeats,” but with gospel-ish R&B influences and the sort of slow, spoken talk-rap that the British have excelled at ever since “West End Girls.” (It’s the kind of song that’s a lot better when you’re not dissecting its influences, though.)

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The Little Drummer Murderess
June 1, 2011, 3:57 pm
Filed under: music | Tags: , ,

I really, really do not like Rihanna’s hair in the video for “Man Down,” which premiered on BET yesterday.  But I really, really do like the single, which returns the Barbadian native to the Caribbean sound that she debuted with way back in 2005.  Not that this sounds anything like “Pon De Replay,” or that most people even remember “Pon De Replay,” probably, but “Man Down”‘s reggae motif, cliched though it is, just sort of feels right on days that are as barometrically challenging as today is.

While folks in some quarters complained about “S&M”–I for one still like it, roughly 1000000000 radio listens later–I’ve been extremely happy with all of the single choices from her Loud album.  I mean, except for “California King Bed”, which is a pretty terrible song.  But the concept is hilarious and I’ve yet to hear it once on the radio.  So, that’s not so bad.


Some Firefox tabs I’ve had open for days now that I’m never going to write full posts about:

1. The Daily Beast has a guide to escorting on Craigslist; apparently Craigslist is something a lot of people didn’t know existed.

2. The fact that nobody buys albums anymore occasionally leads to pleasant surprises like the Pet Shop Boys having their highest-charting album in sixteen years.

3. Stereogum has some new Malcolm Middleton, though it may be his last for a while.

4. Most of the 33 1/3 books I’ve actually read are the poorest-performing ones, saleswise. (I’m still bitter about them not accepting my Faith proposal, though.)

5. If that nudey new video by hipster duo Matt & Kim doesn’t do anything for you, you might want to check out Matt & Khym, this hetero couple that made a dirty movie together in 2007.  Matt’s kind of a fox, although I can’t say I like the tattoo or the earrings.  I do like how this was shot, however.  Also, when do you ever get to see people fucking that have known each other for twenty years?

6. Melissa Gira Grant proposes dismantling the internet’s red light district.  She’ll be talking about it at Sex 2.0, the feminist sex conference coming up in DC next weekend (which I kind of wanted to go to, though not as much as the Pop Conference in Seattle that just happened.)

7. Curation: Possibly a dead concept (or at least one people don’t need an MFA for anymore.)

8. LA cops took all of the jewelry Rihanna was wearing ($1.4 million worth) the night Chris Brown was arrested.  I know that was the night of the Grammys and she wasn’t, you know, on her way to Target or anything, but good Lord is that a lot of money.  And, you know, something that didn’t need to be seized as evidence, especially as it was all loaned.

March 24, 2009, 8:17 pm
Filed under: not hot | Tags: , ,

On the other blog I write for–the non-music one where I periodically mention Rihanna–there’s been a crapload of comments lately, all of which seem to be made by robots, saying things like “Chris Brown is a good person he does not have a history of violence..cant wait til this is over and he is with a new love” and “i loved this song wen i first herd iy. now i love it more” and “I love you christopher brown.”  They’re also all getting through the spam filters, somehow…

It was the first one that bugged me especially.  I’ve been debating whether or not to voice my opinion on the whole Chris Brown/Rihanna thing and don’t think I can, really, unless it’s a really long post.  And I don’t know if anybody would want to read that, or if that’s a dumb thing to do publicly anyway.

Put On Your Brakelights, Here In The Top 10 of Wonder

Okay, finally, here we are: The Top 10. This is a very poppy list, although I can’t figure out whether or not that relates to The Pop Chart, my weekly Top 40 Radio Show. I don’t know if it does, because I started that show in September and I’d heard all ten of these songs by August. (Actually, I’d heard nine of them by June.) Also, I only just realized that all ten of these songs feature female vocalists. Crazy!

Anyway, on with the countdown:

10. Alphabeat, Boyfriend (Pete Hammond Remix)
When Alphabeat first broke in the summer of ’07, I really didn’t get the big whoop. 10000 Nigfhts of Thunder was a fun song, but Fascination and whatever other one I heard just sounded sorta blah. It wasn’t until I read this blog post (which I’ve already linked to once this week) that I figured it out.

Oh. My. Goodness.

The original’s pretty good,but the remix is like the best Stock Aitken Waterman song ever. It’s better than the Reynold Girls!And, since my discovery of the song coincided with the start of The Pop Chart, I played it approximately 3,872,267,362 times, and never once tired of it. At work, at home, while running, while quitting my job. It was basically my theme song for the fall.

9. Karina Pasian, 16 @ War

16 @ War, a song about the perils of being a teenaged girl, could have been pedantic and cloying; instead, Pasian, a sixteen-year old Dominican-American, turned the track into a really beautiful song about day-to-day problems with boys and peer pressure. I wouldn’t call it inspirational (thank God), but I would call it inspiring. Unfortunately, the debut single by Dominican-American R&B singer Karina Pasian didn’t really catch on with radio, though Pasian did get a Grammy nomination for Best Contemporary R&B album. Hopefully we’ll be hearing a lot more from her in the future.

8. Annie, I Know Ur Girlfriend Hates Me
Oh, Annie. How I love you so. Especially when your songs have breakdowns towards the end, with lyrics like “ringy dingy dingy ding ding ding.”

The Norwegian singer’s second album sort of redefines the idea of a sophomore slump–her label decided not to release it after it had already leaked–though the songs were just as good as on her much-ballyhooed debut. The Norwgian singer’s only official release this year, I Know Ur Girlfriend Hates Me sounds a lot like Chewing Gum, it’s true. But then, Chewing Gum is one of the best songs of the decade, so I don’t really see that as a flaw.

7. Yelle, Je Veux Te Voir
Sampling 20 Fingers’ Short Dick Man, French singer Yelle made a big splash in 2008 with Je Veux Te Voir, a two-year old single that got a proper worldwide release back in February. An angry song aimed chauvinist rapper Cuizinier, the song’s so absurdly catchy that Yelle quickly became the darling of the American Apparel leg warmers set. And, you know, they promptly forgot her, too, because that’s how they roll. But whatever, this song still makes me dance around like a loon and pretend like my six years of French classes weren’t a complete waste.

6. Danity Kane, Damaged*
For all the reasons not to like Danity Kane–their name, say, or the fact that you can’t tell any of them apart, or the way they dress, or maybe memories of that terrible song about being in the car and driving slow–there’s at least one reason to like them: this delightful pop confection. It’s wonderful. I heard it every time I got in my car for a week and loved every second of it, not knowing who sang it until I Googled the lyrics later on. So, I admitted to myself that the then-quintet have some redeeming qualities after all. Or one, anyway. I haven’t heard the whole Welcome To The Dollhouse album, though; something tells me this song might just be a particularly great fluke.

[*And why the heck isn’t the video on Youtube?! Although I’m glad I found the one I did…]

5. Rihanna, Disturbia
So, if you can’t tell, my real choice for album of the year was the mixtape I posted here back in June. ScarJo, Karina, Annie and Sophie all came out winners on this list. And then there was Disturbia. Since I like to pretend that record companies don’t scam fans by releasing “deluxe editions” of albums, I’ll call this a non-album single, not a Good Girl Gone Bad bonus trac. That I can get around my one-song-per-album rule and put this in the top five. Named after a Shia LeBoeuf vehicle, the song has Rihanna belting lines like “Put on your brakelights, here, in the city of wonder!” and “I feel like a monster!” It doesn’t make any sense, and it shouldn’t work, but it does, somehow, proving that the ubiquitous Barbadian can really do no wrong.*

[*Well, when it comes to pop and dance songs anyway. She doesn’t really have the voice for melodramatic ballads. Take A Bow was her first song to annoy me. And I understand people’s gripes with Unfaithful, too, although I thought that song was okay until I heard it for the 3400000th time.]

4. The Magnetic Fields, Drive On Driver

I think I’ve talked about this song here before, and how I always imagine that the person singing it looks like Fred Flintstone’s Uncle Tex, a little guy with a big hat and a giant moustache.
It’s my favorite song on the Magnetic Fields’ great Distortion album, and I’d call it one of Stephin Merritt’s all-time greatest compositions, right up there with I Can’t Touch You Anymore and Kissing Things and All You Ever Do Is Walk Away. And it makes me a little bit verklempt every time Shirley Simms’ twangily says to Randy, her driver: “Take me to the airport, I need to be extremely far away.”

3. Portishead, The Rip
From the very first time I heard this song I was blown away by how lovely it is. Starting off with gentle guitars and ending with farty synth noises, Though I initially thought it was about drugs, Beth Gibbons’ mournful singing about white horses could be about lots of things, really, including death. But with the feelings of tenderness and the darkness going away, this might be the most bleakly optimistic song since Judy Garland first sang Have Yourself A Merry Little Christmas.

2. Santogold, I’m A Lady
Not to be a Repetitive Reginald, but it was really hard for me to pick a favorite track off Santogold’s self-titled debut, especially because it’s so stylistic all over the place and so very poppy. I’m A Lady wasn’t a single, and it’s towards the end of the album so it took me a while to notice it at first, and I guess I’m not the only one. According to last.fm, it’s the least played song on her album by several thousand listens over the past six months. Maybe people don’t respond to the slightly indecipherable chorus. It’s the melody that really wins me over, though, and the way she pronounces the word lady. I’m also partial tso the way it’s sort of set up like a Nancy and Lee song, with the country-ish verses and some mopey man named Trouble Andrew* guest-talking towards the end.

[*I guess he’s some sort of hipster skater person, according to the internet, or possibly a hipster snowboard person. He looks really annoying, but I like this song.]

1. The Kills, Last Day of Magic
In 2006, I was all about The Knife, and they topped my year-end song list and album list and concert list. In 2007 it was MIA, no question, also topping all three lists. 2008 was a little trickier. For one thing, The Kills definitely didn’t put on the best concert of the year, though I’m at a loss right now to think of who might have. (HEALTH were really good in April; I also saw Burt Jansch this year, and a new incarnation of The Homosexuals. I feel like that’s about it, though, unless you count The Valerie Project at Boston’s MFA.) And, though I love the Kills’ Midnight Boom album and this song in particular, I’m going to say that this song isn’t as good as Marble House or Paper Planes. And on another day Portishead or Beach House orErykah Badu might have topped my album list, and any one of my top six or seven songs could have been #1 here. Which is a testament, I’d say, to how much really excellent music came out this year, even if none of it was as good as the instant classics released in other years.


What a breakup song!! With just the first two lines, “We’re two parties/two parties ending,” Alison Mosshart’s already painted a vivid picture of two people too wrapped up in their own hedonism to work together. But it’s not quite The Days of Wine and Roses, either; Mosshart’s angry, and wants to go out with a bang. “I’ll be the man with the broom,” she says, “if you’ll be the guts in the room.” It’s perfect, really, concise and edgy and beautiful.

MTV Awards Preview

[I’m simulblogging this one, because I feel like I deserve something for just sitting through a fucking Slipknot video.]

The MTV Awards are tonight, and I might watch them while I do my laundry, though it’s usually a pretty boring awards show and I never like any of the bands that play it. And giving out awards to videos seems kind of silly, when MTV devotes 4% of its programming to videos these days.

But anyway. I like a good video, even if I have to go to the internet to watch it in poor quality on silly Youtube. Most of this year’s nominees are totally lame and ridiculous, but I thought I’d present them all to you anyway:

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